How To Make Your Drawings Three Dimensional

How To Make Your Drawings Three Dimensional

Every Monday at Drawing Tutorials Online I film three to four of video critiques. Members who take the time to upload their artwork definitely improve weekly. It’s pretty amazing what a different set of eyes can do to help you improve

Sometimes we get much too close to our drawings loosing all sense of objectivity.

Stella has been a member of Drawing Tutorials Online for a little over a month now. She is really taking the time to seek out feedback on her drawings. She is being super proactive learning new skills through our begin here step by step course. I really appreciate that.

In this short critique you can see what Stella is struggling with. She is doing too much outlining on the light side of the statue. She is separating each muscle with an outline. When you do that you compartmentalize your drawing. You chop up the muscles and bones into small stiff parts.

The second element in this critique, not shading the shadow shape in a solid dark enough way. This is a very common occurrence. For whatever reason many artists have a difficult time seeing the shadow side of what they are drawing in a solid dark way.

Stella is also showing too much crisp detail in the shadows. Shadow shapes should be left simple. If you put detail in the both the light and the shadows that creates a flat look.

So what can we all take away from this critique? Keep your shadows dark, solid with not too much crisp detail. Don’t outline each and every muscle. Keep your lights light. Be very cautious about dark outlines in the light. Yes you can and should put details in the light, just keep those details light.

Thank you Stella for sharing your artwork with us in our member critique gallery. Thank you too for reading this post.



Who can benefit from our weekly critiques? Are you putting together a portfolio to get into college? I can help you create a strong portfolio that gets you into the college of your dreams.

Is drawing your hobby? Do you have limited time? If so let me help you get the most out of your drawing time. Pointing out things you can do to improve your artwork on a weekly basis.

Sign up to Drawing Tutorials Online today and let’s start working together to improve your drawings.

The Importance of Drawing Shadow Shapes

The Importance of Drawing Shadow Shapes

It sounds so trivial, drawing shadow shapes. But the fact is a lot of artists struggle with drawing, or shading in shadow shapes. A different term for this is “blocking in”. Some artists simply just don’t see shadows. They cannot see blocks of tone.

We’re all good at one thing right? I have always had an easy time of seeing shadows shapes. Line however was really tough for me. How about you, do see more with line instead of tone?

The goal is to become balanced with the way we see. Of course you can make something really dimensional with just line. However when you can add line with tone things get a little more interesting.

For those of you who struggle with seeing the proper shadow value here are a couple of tips.

  • Always squint at your reference to see the simple shadow and light shapes. Squinting takes away all of the detail.
  • Go into every drawing, if you are trying to draw with tone, understanding there should always be a three value set up. Try to structure your drawings with a dark, middle tone and light value. This will force you be more conscious of shadow shapes.
  • Ask yourself the question, where is the light coming from? If you understand your light source, you will ultimately understand where the shadow shapes are.
  • Lastly, shade your shadow shapes with a solid tone. Don’t let patches of white paper show through, this will muddy up your lights and darks.
  • If you enjoyed watching the critiques I would encourage you to get your drawings looked at. Sometimes we get so close to our own artwork that we cannot see what we are struggling with. Worst yet we don’t know how to get past the roadblock.

    Learn more of what Drawing Tutorials Online has to offer you.